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Charlie Glahe WIN Broomfield

How to save money with home improvements

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Most homeowners look for ways to cut costs. From recycling old goods to energy-efficient light bulbs, there are a variety of methods one can choose in order to keep a little cash at the end of each month. However, one way people may not think can save money is with home improvements.

On the contrary, the old saying "you have to spend money to make money" actually makes sense here. Homeowners who spend a little extra up front on energy-efficient upgrades stand to save a good chunk of change down the road. This could be in the form of lower expense bills, or even a higher sale price when it comes time to move. Also, a property inspection professional can be a great addition when planning a renovation, as he or she can identify problem areas or energy leaks that warrant attention.

Look for the little things
Not every energy-saving home improvement needs to be a massive undertaking. In fact, the simplest fixes can often have the greatest return on investment. According to U.S. News and World Report, a number of cost-effective, intelligent purchases can save money down the road.

For instance, low-flow fixtures can be an easy change in order to turn a home more energy-efficient, the news source noted. Instead of sticking with the old faucets, homeowners can switch them out for newer ones that use less water. Reducing consumption by a decent amount can actually result in hundreds of dollars of savings per year. A low-flow shower head will only run a person around $20, making it quite the smart investment.

In addition, insulation can be a major energy-saver. A home inspection can find locations around the house that need more work, as well. The news source explained that insulation keeps the home cool in warmer weather and hotter when it's cold out. A roll typically costs less than $20, which means lower monthly bills could be a great return on investment. Another simple - yet smart - upgrade is the fluorescent light bulb. They tend to last a lot longer than their traditional counterparts, and the higher price tag is often recouped within the year.

Don't forget about regular maintenance
A number of homeowners may relax when it comes to regular maintenance. A property inspection could point out parts of the house that have fallen into disrepair, and residents should always try to keep up with a good cleaning routine.

According to David Bakke in an article for Mint.com, dirty air vents can actually result in a higher energy bill. All of that grime and dust gets in the way of proper air flow, which means that the air conditioning or heating units have to try harder to work correctly. In that case, regular removal of this buildup can save money at little to no cost to the homeowner. Also, furniture can get in the way of a working HVAC system. If this is true, moving tall bookshelves away from ceiling vents or freeing room around floor ones can lower the monthly energy bill as well.

Weatherstripping can be another simple task that equals greater energy-efficiency, Bakke explained. In fact, it isn't just a job for winter, and the better sealed windows and doors are, the more hot and cold air will stay inside the house. If light can come through the bottom of a door, energy is being wasted. Thankfully, it is also easy to install and cheap to buy. 

Overall, a home inspection professional can help a homeowner figure out what needs to be done around a house, either during improvements or when buying or selling. This step is crucial because it can save a lot of money on future repairs.